The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

February 19, 2013

Marshall, UCF to meet for final time

HUNTINGTON — For the final time as members of Conference USA, Marshall and Central Florida will meet in men’s basketball at 7 p.m. today in Orlando.

The Thundering Herd (11-15, 4-7 C-USA) leads the all-time series 9-6. The teams have met twice each season since joining the league in the 2005-06 season.

UCF  (17-8, 7-4 C-USA) will jump to the Big East Conference on July 1.

Marshall senior center Nigel Spikes returns to his home state tonight. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native is tied for fifth in the conference with 1.8 blocks per game and has at least one block in each of his  last 11 games. In his last game against the Knights, Spikes blocked a career-high nine shots, which is still the best mark of any player in C-USA this season.

Marshall won that game 75-71 on Feb. 2 in Huntington.

Marshall is coming off last Saturday’s 71-59 loss to No. 22 Memphis. Dennis Tinnon had 15 points and 13 rebounds against the Tigers, his seventh double-double of the season. The senior forward is averaging 10.7 points and 9.2 rebounds, the third-best rebounding margin in the conference.

Junior forward Elijah Pittman leads the Herd in scoring, averaging 15.4 points per game, eighth-best in C-USA and the most of any league newcomer.

UCF is coming off a 73-58 loss at UTEP last Wednesday and has dropped three of its last five games. It is a different trend than the last time the teams met. when the Knights had won nine of their last 11.

Isaiah Sykes leads the Knights in scoring with 15.5 points per game. The junior has recorded two triple-doubles this season.

Tonight’s game will not be televised.

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